HTC One source code released, HTCDev unlock tested and working

HTC One owners now have the option to unlock their handsets and install a custom operating system, with HTC releasing important source code

22 Apr 2013

The kernel source code for the HTC One has been released, meaning developers are now able to start working on third-party software patches for the flagship smartphone - and early indications are that it's possible to run stock Android on the handset.

The HTC One is an extremely impressive smartphone, but the launch was marred by numerous delays caused by component shortages - in particular for the Ultrapixel sensor, a custom camera module that uses larger-than-normal pixels to capture a higher-quality image than its specifications would suggest. Developers were also hit with the news early last month that unlocking the bootloader, a requirement of installing a custom operating system on the device, would wipe pre-installed applications and block future updates from HTC.

Indications were that the HTC One would prove an undesirable handset for those who like to tinker - but it appears that such fears were unfounded, as the device has received the thumbs-up from a member of the ClockworkMod team. "HTCDev unlock on this device [the HTC One] actually behaves properly, unlike its predecessors," developer Koushik Dutta said in a Google+ post. "It behaves like a Nexus device. You can flash boot from recovery. This is awesome. HTC, I hope you sell a gorillian of these."

The news that it's possible to install and use the ClockworkMod Recovery software will be welcomed by those who like the HTC One's hardware but dislike the thought of running a customised version of Android featuring HTC's Sense overlay: using the recently-released kernel source code, developers can port stock Android to the handset and release ROMs that can be quickly and easily installed using the ClockworkMod Recovery software.

Doing so, of course, will remove the customisations made by HTC on the device, and is likely to cause problems should the user wish to return to the normal HTC operating system in the future - but for those who simply must have an unmodified Android experience, the news means the HTC One can once again be considered as a possible purchase option.

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